Ginger beer is a fantastic tasty drink for the adults, particularly refreshing in the summer. Ginger, with its zippy and refreshing taste, is listed among the world’s oldest spices. As far back as 500 BC, this native plant of China and India was used for medicine, food, and flavoring. For most of the Western world, ginger was used to spice up drinks. Up until the Victorian era, beer was the drink of choice in England, especially herbal and spiced low-alcohol “small” beers such as ginger beer. Brewed ginger beer originated in Yorkshire in England in the mid-18th century and became popular throughout Britain, the United States, Ireland, and Canada, reaching a peak of popularity in the early 20th century. Unlike supermarket ginger ales, which are made with carbonated water, corn syrup, and ginger flavoring, this spicy ginger beer is made the old-fashioned way, with lots of fresh grated ginger, sugar, yeast, and water. So let’s see how to make ginger beer then!
First of all you need to grate your ginger on a coarse cheese grater – you can leave the skin on if you like. Put the ginger with its pulpy juice into a bowl and sprinkle in your muscovado sugar. Remove the rind from 2 of your lemons with a vegetable peeler, add to the bowl, and slightly bash and squash with something heavy like a pestle or a rolling-pin. Just do this for 10 seconds, to mix up all the flavours. Squeeze the juice from all 3 lemons and add most of it to the bowl. Pour in your fizzy water or soda water.
Allow to sit for 10 minutes and then taste. You may feel that the lemons are slightly too sour, therefore add a little more sugar; if it’s slightly too sweet, add a little more lemon juice. To be honest, these amounts are always a little variable so just follow your own taste. Pass the ginger beer through a coarse sieve into a large jug and add lots of ice and some sprigs of mint.